American People #20: Die by Faith Ringgold copyright Faith Ringgold.
This was a discussion of Die I posted on my blog Soul Pictures: Black Feminist Generations
http://www.mjsoulpictures.blogspot.com in 2009 when Die was exhibited at the Art Galleries of Ontario. There was talk then of them buying the painting, which makes it all the more wonderful that The Museum of Modern Art finally has, and is already showing it prominently as part of their collection from the 1960s.
Two really wonderful articles help to provide background for this extraordinary accomplishment, the first of these is in Art News today:
The second of these is by Anne Monahan and appears in NKA and is called "Faith RInggold's Die: The Riot and Its Reception. (See subsequent post).
My words concerning the Ontario exhibition and other master works of the American People Series are as follows. Including references to American People #18 and #19--The Flag is Bleeding and U.S. Postage Stamp Commemorating the Advent of Black Power, also dating from 1967.
Faith's mural Die is featured in an exhibition at the Art Galleries of Ontario, which has a post on the web at http://www.ago.net/contemporary-collection-1960s-freedom-and-conflict.
Aside from Die, there was also The Flag is Bleeding, which was entirely finished I believe, and U.S. Postage Stamp Commemorating the Advent of Black Power, which immediately became my favorite painting in the world. I was only fifteen so my thinking about it wasn't particularly deep. It was for the simple reason that it included 100 faces in a grid of ten faces by ten faces, with ten black faces in diagonal order representing their status as 10% of the population of the United States and all the rest of the faces were white.
The 60s were a complicated period about which there is a great deal more to say. It is great to see that museums in Canada are taking on the political art of the 60s since our own museums in the United States have been largely unwilling to come to terms with the masterpieces of American political art of the 60s. Of course, a lot of that art would be African American. Could that have something to do with their reluctance? I hope not.